The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Its provisions define and protect their civil rights. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations and in employment. It also protects the right to access for those with disabilities in the use of commercial and public transportation facilities. There are no provisions in the ADA that mandate the issuance of identification cards for individuals with disabilities. However, there are regulations issued under the ADA that require local transportation authorities to implement paratransit services to accommodate those with disabilities. These regulations require local transit authorities to develop procedures for determining who qualifies under the ADA. Once an individual is qualified, he is issued an identification card or "documentation" of eligibility. At the point of service, a passenger can present the identification card issued by the local transit authority, if asked.
Identify the transit routes in your area that may be useful to you.
Obtain the eligibility application for each transportation authority that oversees the routes you intend to travel. Depending on where you live and the routes you intend to travel, you may be affected by more than one transit authority. The rail system and bus system, for instance, may be operated by different authorities.
Complete the application as provided in the instructions. Submit any additional materials and or verification that may be requested.
Request eligibility for a personal care attendant if you intend to use one. Each local transit authority is required to specify “conditions or limitations on the individual's eligibility including the use of a personal care attendant," according to Sec. 37.125 (e) of the ADA.
Request an appeal of the transit authority’s decision if you are deemed ineligible. The applicable regulations require each transit authority to provide an appeal process “through which individuals who are denied eligibility can obtain review of the denial," cites Sec. 37.125 (g) of the act.
- wheelchair access sign image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com